James C. Simmons is the author of 30 books and over 500 magazine articles on travel, history, biography, and wildlife. Raised in Cincinnati, he received his bachelors degree from Miami University, Ohio, and a doctorate in nineteenth-century British literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before becoming a freelance writer, he taught courses on British and American literature at Boston University and San Diego State University. All of his books have involved extensive research in major university library collections, including some in Australia and England.

Awards
Mr. Simmons' books and articles have won numerous awards. His book, Americans: The View from Abroad, won first prize as the Best Travel Book of 1990 in the prestigious Lowell Thomas Competition of Travel Writing. The Book-of-the-Month Club selected his book, Passionate Pilgrims: English Travelers to the World of the Desert Arabs, as a dividend book.

Professional Organizations
Mr. Simmons has been a member in good standing of the Society of American Travel Writers since 1983 and a member of the Association of Personal Historians since 2000.

What the critics say about Jim Simmons . . .


THE SOUTHERN HAUNTING OF TRUMAN CAPOTE

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Praise for Marie Rudisill’s and James C. Simmons’s earlier book about Truman Capote, Truman Capote: The Story of his Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood

“This is must reading for Truman Capote fans.”
                                       J. Paul Wyatt, United Press International

“A neat slice of Southern gothic.”
                                       Kirkus

“An interesting book that explores the roots of the Capote persona. It should intrigue his fans and others interested in the Southern literary tradition.”
                                       Library Journal


STAR-SPANGLED EDEN: 19TH CENTURY AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF DICKENS, WILDE, FRANCES TROLLOPE, FRANK HARRIS, AND OTHER BRITISH TRAVELERS

 

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"In Star-Spangled Eden the historian James C. Simmons narrates the story of
19th-century America from the perspective of eight extraordinary British travelers. Starting with Frances Trollope in the 1820s and ending with Oscar Wilde in the 1880s, Simmons weaves enough historical context into their accounts to underscore the dramatic changes that transformed a frontier nation into an industrialized power."
                                       The Washington Post Book

World "Star-Spangled Eden is a captivating and illuminating work of history in which Old World assumptions are continually exploded by New World realities."
                                       Forbes FYI

"This is a highly readable, enjoyable work filled with interesting perspectives on a rapidly changing nation."
                                       Booklist


THE BIG BOOK OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

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“The ultimate sourcebook to the 400 greatest escapes around the world.”
                                       The College News

“Simmons has tapped a rapidly widening niche of the travel industry with both hard data and armchair romance.”
                                       Neil Morgan, San Diego Union-Tribune


CASTAWAY IN PARADISE:
THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES
OF TRUE-LIFE ROBINSON CRUSOES

 

 

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"Simmons's scrupulously researched tales of people led by misfortune or choice to take up hermit existences on lonely atolls and surf-fringed isles is, at every turn, irresistible."
                                        Bill Bryson, The New York Times Book Review

“This book, for those who love the exotic and adventurous, is a dream come true.”
                                       Bruce Dexter, San Diego Union-Tribune

“This book will attract armchair travelers and anyone with a history addiction. But its real appeal is much deeper and much more universal. It re-ignites everyone's
daydream of being a castaway in paradise.”
                                       Al Haas, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“The incredible obstacles overcome by these resourceful, persevering souls will leave modern readers slack-jawed. No two stories are alike, and all are compelling.”
                                      School Library Journal


PASSIONATE PILGRIMS:
ENGLISH TRAVELERS TO THE
WORLD OF THE DESERT ARABS

“Mr. Simmons' book is entertainingly written, and its supplementary scholarship, on things like the Suez Canal and the importance of the horse in pre-petrodollar Arab civilization, is solid.”
                                        The New Yorker

“This is a book filled with wild and sometimes wonderful characters–all the more amazing because they really lived... Simmons melds the area's history and the experiences of early travelers into an understanding of the oil-rich countries of today.”
Milly Wohler, The Oregonian

“For romance and adventure it's hard to top these exotic true tales.”
                                        Book-of-the-Month Club Magazine


AMERICANS: THE VIEW FROM ABROAD

“This is a thoughtful selection of contemporary quotations on our country and people... Simmons does a fine job of capturing the American paradox in this absorbing collection.”
                                        Charles Elster, San Diego Tribune

“Americans is worthy of attention as a kind of national report card and spiritual thermometer. Data of that sort is hard to come by.”
                                        K.L. Billingsley, World M
agazine